Eat Smart · Nutrition

Is IIFYM Right for You?

Five letters, IIFYM, seem to have suddenly made an awkward appearance in the world of fitness and nutrition. If you have seen this acronym and have absolutely no idea what it means, then you are not alone. Many people do not know that “IIFYM: If it fits your macros” is an acronym about one of the latest fads that many athletes and gym-junkies are talking about.

Basically, IIFYM is a scientific approach to eating. That is, measuring exactly how many grams of carbs, proteins, and fats your body needs every single day. It can be very difficult and frustrating for people when they first try it because there are so many factors that affect what the body needs on a daily basis. Some of these factors include current weight, height, sex, and most importantly, level of activity each day.

So what are macros? “Macros” is short for “macronutrients,” or carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Some athletes choose to “bulk up” to put on muscle, while others want to “cut” to lose fat. In order to do either of these, they must adjust the amount of each macronutrient they consume each day. In order to just simply maintain weight, people can calculate their macros online at iifym.com/iifym-calculator. This website asks general questions about your daily life that will help figure out your specific needs.

Many athletes choose this approach because it not only allows them to adjust their weight, but it allows them to adjust what they are able to eat. For instance, if they track closely enough, they can fit some “unhealthy” choices into their diet without worrying about gaining weight. Every food is made of macronutrients, so it is up to the consumer to choose how they eat their daily needs.

Disclaimer: following IIFYM, just like any other diet plan, should be discussed with a health care provider first. Some athletes have been known to get too caught up in figuring out their daily macros by weighing everything they eat, tracking every morsel that enters their mouth, and falling into bad eating habits. Though IIFYM is a “scientifically proven” method of eating, it is not for everyone and should be approached mindfully. After all, it should not be “if it fits your mouth!”

By Liz Tosi

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